This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is from an unnamed, just-started WIP, with the placeholder name of “Bluebeard,” because it’s very loosely based on that fairy tale. Every year on the Winter Solstice, a sorcerer takes a sixteen-year-old girl as his bride, divorcing her and exiling her before he takes a new bride the next year.

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Not that I expected to be chosen. He took the special girls–the beauties, the talented, the best—not a tomboy with too-short hair, scars, and more muscles than was seemly. I could take a bird on the wing with my bow, track a deer through the woods, and even in skirts, outride half the boys. My cooking was more homey than fine, my manners unpolished, and my voice too raspy for singing anything but folk songs. No different from many farm girls, tough and capable, doing the jobs that must be done to put food on the table.

On the Winter’s Solstice, carts would be sent to gather all the girls of age over the kingdom to the tower.  We were bound to the land, by our blood and birth and living, but our sorcerer had come from across the sea, and his magic slid off our land’s icy toughness. He needed a bride on the longest night of the year, to make his magic stick. There were other solutions to be had, but the curse, much whispered of, demanded the ritual.

*    *    *

This story is very loosely based on Bluebeard. The sorcerer is cursed, and the brides are caught up in the curse, though the nearby villagers don’t know how or why. He keeps the kingdom safe with his magic, and his brides tie him to a land he couldn’t otherwise protect. There are other ways to do this tying–but his curse demands a bride.

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

27 responses »

  1. Kim Magennis says:

    Very compelling storytelling Caitlin. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You caught me last week and never let me go. Love your writing, Caitlin. Nice new smiling pic of you.

  3. Frank Fisher says:

    This snippet provides good insight into you MC and their world. It looks like you know enough to make this into a full novel.

  4. I love your MC already- and I have a feeling Bluebeard might appreciate her uniqueness, so let the fun begin!

  5. Sarah W says:

    I envy your way with character self-description, Caitlin. Her tone is a perfect balance of pride, wistfulness, and “it is what it is”.

  6. Eden says:

    And now we know that the sorcerer is going to pick someone a little less cultured and civilized… Nicely written foreshadowing

  7. Gemma Parkes says:

    this is a great story, enjoying it very much -very visual.

  8. Carrie-Anne says:

    I like that she’s not exactly like all the other candidates. I’m wondering if she might win him over and end the custom of divorcing after a year.

  9. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Although the story will diverge drastically, the opening is reminiscent of Hunger Games.

  10. elainecsc2013 says:

    This sounds as if it’ll be a fun story.

  11. I love her sensible self description – I want to know a lot more about her! Enjoying the story, as always with your terrific worlds. Great snippet!

  12. I am soooo hooked. Write faster, Caitlin! Just a newly started WIP and it’s already on my TBR. Nicely done!

  13. Caitlin, I love this story! I have to read more!! I really feel like this story is going to be well known literature one day. Hooked beyond belief. Please let me know when you get this published, I’m definitely buying it. 🙂

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